By Bong Pelaez
So many accolades have been given to Jesse Robredo…. now that he has joined OUR creator. I ask myself, “Why is it only now that the media is giving the honoring?” The most probable reason is his maintaining a low profile inspite of his being an achiever.
I never had the chance of meeting him personally but have wished I had met him, after all the positive notes on his character … an excellent Be Honest hall of fame awardee. ( I hope a member of the BCBP Naga Chapter reads this article.)
The Media coverage of his accomplishments and awards, and the testimonies given through the press and blogs give me an understanding of who Jesse Robredo was as a public servant, as a husband, and as a father. The traits about him that I admire most are – simplicity, honesty, and integrity.
SIMPLICITY – He had quite a modest home for a City Mayor who served for 18 years. He was known for his “tsinelas”, a very comfortable footwear that shows your true self with no pretense. Unlike the scene stealers wearing their “sine-las”! He was indeed a man for all in his dealing and rapport with his constituents. He would join the garbage collection crew in making the routinary collections. I believe this exercise put his feet on the ground and made sure they stayed on the ground.
HONESTY –The simplicity in his person speaks for his honesty and humility combined. He would rather be home on weekends than oblige himself to social functions with the who’s who in the business circle, with the accomplished professionals, and the top brass in government.
INTEGRITY – Jesse was dedicated to his work and never compromised his duties and responsibilities. I believe that Jesse never short changed the goverment but gave more of himself as a Ramon Magsaysay awardee.
HOW CAN WE AS BCBP MEMBERS BE A JESSE ROBREDO? It can be done IF only we are diligent in attending the BCBP talks and digesting them by slowly putting these teachings into practice. I would like to suggest some ways …
SIMPLICITY in the Christian home … make it comfortable for yourself, your children, and most specially for the household helpers. Expensive crystals and cut glass as decor are nightmares for the household helpers as part of their regular cleaning chores. Your children, specially at the “terrible two” age, cannot differentiate a Murano cut glass or a Lladro figurine from their GI Joe or Barbie dolls. Why buy expensive carpets and furnitures when your guests are afraid that their shoes will leave markings and your velvet sofa might be stained by their coffee drippings.
SIMPLIFY. Buy what you need and not for show casing. Just like the “tsinelas” of Jesse, make your home comfy, inviting, and hospitable in hosting action group meetings. Avoid “sine-las”… donate such items to charitable institutions who can auction the items to provide their basic needs – food and utility expenses.
BE HONEST by learning the virtue of humility exemplified by Jesus’ washing the disciples feet. Wash others’ feet! Holy Week is a most appropriate time to do this to our BCBP members and better to include our subordinates in our workplace. … One of my workplaces is the pineapple plantation in Bukidnon … imagine my farm workers enjoying their foot spa!
INTEGRITY in your dealings with your suppliers, clients, and work force. Say NO when you mean NO or YES when you mean YES … in- between may mean you have not matured as a BCBP member.
THE BCBP CHALLENGE – Can we honestly proclaim: YES, the spirit of Jesse Robredo is in us.